More and more people turn to the Internet thinking that it’s an easy way to make money. After all, those guides all say anyone can do it, right? In a way, that’s true. With a little drive and determination just about anyone can make a few bucks. But if you want to a real income so you can quit that full-time job, then you need to approach this like a business. And here are seven of the most common business mistakes that you need to you avoid.
1/ Don’t bite off more than you can chew
In the beginning working online is fun and exciting. You can’t believe it’s so easy. You’re sitting in a comfy chair, in your jammies, and you’re making money. You’re invincible! But no, you’re not. There are still only 24 hours in a day no matter how exhilarated you feel, and you can only accomplish so much in an hour.
2/ Don’t compete on price
You might be tempted to lower your price so you can beat your competition but that’s the worst thing you can do. If it takes 8 hours to do the job and you charge $40 then you just made $5 an hour. At $5 an hour, how many hours will you have to work to pay your bills? Exactly.
Instead, look at how much money you need to meet your financial responsibilities and divide it by a realistic number of hours you can devote to the task.
3/ You can’t trust everybody
I don’t want to say that you can’t trust anyone that you work with online because that would just sound paranoid. But do keep in mind that it’s easier to run a scam when you work online. You can create fake names and profiles and you never have to meet anyone face-to-face. When you work online you have to be extra careful about protecting your interests.
4/ Get all the details in writing
Don’t assume anything and get everything in writing. For example, let’s say you’re a freelance writer and you agree to write 100 articles for someone for $10 each. Don’t sign on the dotted line until you see what kind of articles he wants you to write. What if he wants you to write about nuclear physics or rocket science and you have to spend a month just researching the topic before you can even start writing?
Always, always get all the details in writing before you accept any gig. Most people aren’t trying to cheat you, they just assume you know what they mean. Make them put it in writing so it’s perfectly clear for everyone.
5/ Be specific when you hire help
There will come a time when you start hiring help – people to write articles or set up new blogs or work the social networks for you. Be specific and tell them exactly what you need. And communicate. They might not get it exactly right the first time but you’ll never make any progress if you’re always hiring new people. Training and communication are just as important when you work online as they are out in the physical world.
6/ Expect the unexpected
Your Internet’s going to go down, your blog will crash, you’re going to lose an important email. The Internet isn’t the Magic Kingdom where everything’s always rainbows and lollipops. It’s the real world. Sometimes bad things happen. Be prepared to deal with it.
7/ Plan for success
You know what my biggest mistake was? I never planned for success. I know that sounds strange. But I never planned ahead for that day when everything would just start clicking. How would I handle the onslaught of business? How would I handle scheduling and delivery and bookkeeping? Where would I find qualified people to hire?
It’s going to happen. Sooner or later everything’s going to click and your business is going to skyrocket. Get ready – and plan ahead for your success.